School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Image of Emily Rees

Emily Rees

PhD in Film and Television Studies, Faculty of Arts


Research Summary

Current Status

PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic

Domesticating Television in Britain, 1936-1976

Research Summary

The central question my thesis is asking is how was television domesticated in Britain. The time frame encompasses the beginning of the regular television service in 1936, television's arrival into the home in the postwar period, the mass proliferation of television in the 1950s and 1960s and the arrival of colour television in the late 1960s and early 1970s. How was the arrival of the television into the home negotiated by the millions of new owners/viewers over these three decades? How was the process of television's domestication mediated by other cultural forces? What versions of "television lifestyles" were being created and how did this form part of the wider imaginary of domesticity across this period?

In order to answer these questions my research will consider television as a material object and cultural medium that is doubly-articulated into the home. My thesis will use an interdisciplinary approach that combines research from across a variety of academic fields, including media studies, cultural history, social history and sociology. In this way, it will offer a cultural history of television's arrival into the British home and the relationship television forms with the material and social cultures of domesticity, especially in terms of gender, class and taste.

From October 2016 until January 2018, I was on placement with the National Science and Media Museum, working with the Pye/C.O. Stanley archive collection.

Research Interests

* 20th Century British cultural/social history

* Television/media history

* Gender and class

* Domestic design and the materiality of the home

Research Supervisor/s

Dr Cathy Johnson

Dr James Mansell

Primary Funding Source/s

Midlands3Cities AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership


'Television, gas and electricity: consuming comfort and leisure in the British home 1946-1965', Journal of Popular Television (forthcoming)

Reviews & blog posts:

"The Joy of Sets: A Short History of the Television, by Chris Horrocks," review, Times Higher Education, March 2018.

"Consuming the "Television Lifestyle" in 1950s and 60s Britain", CST Online, 2016.

"Notes from the archive: Pye, C.O. Stanley and the history of British television", CST Online, 2017.

Conference Papers & Presentations

Mediating "Television Lifestyles": TV, Comfort and Consumption, Material Cultures of Television conference, University of Hull, March 2016

Source Material, Value and Legitimacy: the Challenge of Uncovering Everyday Experiences of Media and Domesticity in Postwar Britain, Seeking Legitimacy workshop, University of Birmingham, June 2016

Mediating "Television Lifestyles": Magazines and the Arrival of Television into the British Home 1946-1976, Screen conference, University of Glasgow, June 2016

Commodifying the Television Set in Britain, 1936-1955, Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, Chicago, USA, March 2017

Bringing Consumer Culture Home: Consuming the Television Set in Interwar and Postwar Britain, Social History Society conference, UCL Institute of Education, April 2017

Designer Television Sets and Domestic Space, Domestic Desires (part of the Home Sweet Home architecture series), Royal Academy, October 2017

Television, Taste and Home Decor: Putting Leisure on Display in the British Home, 1945-1975, Sport and Leisure seminar series, Institute of Historical Research, February 2018

Teaching experience

W51224 - Consuming Film and Television

W51240 - Reading Film and Television

V92REC - Researching Culture, Film and Media

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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